Wellness Articles

Restless Legs Syndrome

Muscle Cramp and RLS Advice Provided by Vancouver Chiropractor and Sports Therapy

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder characterized by throbbing, pulling, creeping, or other unpleasant sensations in the legs and an uncontrollable, and sometimes overwhelming, urge to move them.

In most cases, the cause of RLS is unknown. However, it may have a genetic component; RLS is often found in families where the onset of symptoms is before age 40. Specific gene variants have been associated with RLS. Evidence indicates that low levels of iron in the brain also may be responsible for RLS.

People with RLS feel uncomfortable sensations in their legs, especially when sitting or lying down, accompanied by an irresistible urge to move the affected limb.  These sensations less commonly affect the arms, trunk, or head.  Although the sensations can occur on just one side of the body, they most often affect both sides. Because moving the legs (or other affected parts of the body) relieves the discomfort, people with RLS often keep their legs in motion to minimize or prevent the sensations. They may pace the floor, constantly move their legs while sitting, and toss and turn in bed.

A classic feature of RLS is that the symptoms are worse at night with a distinct symptom-free period in the early morning, allowing for more refreshing sleep at that time.  Other triggering situations are periods of inactivity such as long car trips, sitting in a movie theatre, long-distance flights, immobilization in a cast, or relaxation exercises.  Many individuals also note a worsening of symptoms if their sleep is further reduced by events or activity.

RLS symptoms may vary from day to day and in severity and frequency from person to person.  Individuals with mild RLS may have some disruption of sleep onset and minor interference in daytime activities.  In moderately severe cases, symptoms occur only once or twice a week but result in significant delay of sleep onset, with some disruption of daytime function.  In severe cases of RLS, the symptoms occur more than twice a week and result in burdensome interruption of sleep and impairment of daytime function.

I have found treating RLS with regular intervals of spinal adjustments, magnesium, and Vitamin B5/6 has moderately reduced the frequency and severity of the symptoms.

Feel free to book an appointment if you would like to discuss things further.

Have a great day,
Dr. Crysta Serné
Vancouver Chiropractor and owner of Vitality Clinic



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